Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS NB) is encouraging New Brunswickers to get involved in a public consultation on the provincial government’s proposed construction of snowmobile trails and hub in Mount Carleton Provincial Park. The provincial Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture has released an environmental assessment report on the proposal, and has invited members of the public to submit comments before November 21.

“CPAWS NB is very concerned about the impact of this project on the wilderness and wildlife of our iconic and wildest provincial park,” says Roberta Clowater, CPAWS NB Executive Director. “Unfortunately, the environmental assessment report does not do a good job of identifying the potential environmental impacts of such a trail. We encourage all New Brunswickers to share their views on this proposed project with our provincial government.”

CPAWS New Brunswick has reviewed the Environmental Assessment report, and developed a summary of comments that it hopes will contribute to the public discussion around this proposed development at Mount Carleton Provincial Park.

The summary can be downloaded at: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Our review found that:
• The provincial government has apparently not done surveys to determine if there are habitats for species at risk, such as bald eagles, Canada lynx, or Gaspé shrews along the proposed development route, especially the new snowmobile trail up the side of Mount Carleton.
• The report dismisses the potential impacts of snowmobile noise and compaction of snow on wildlife, ignoring a significant body of research that indicates snowmobiling can negatively impact moose, bald eagles, hibernating bears and small mammals over the long term.
• The report also ignores evidence that snowmobiles and groomers can reduce winter survival for small mammals by compacting snow or collapsing the tunnels they use to search for food, which could affect food sources for owls, hawks, Canada lynx, foxes, and American marten – resulting in impacts up the food chain.

“Mount Carleton Provincial Park is one of our most treasured landscapes and the provincial government is supposed to protect it as a beautiful wild place for all New Brunswickers to enjoy, now and in the future. The significant gaps in the assessment report reinforce CPAWS NB’s belief that the proposed new snowmobile trail up the side of Mount Carleton should not move forward. It is difficult to see how the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture can undertake this part of the project in a way that avoids or mitigates the potential impacts on wildlife and trail erosion. We hope the environmental assessment process gives serious consideration to all of the missing information related to this project, especially given the public expectation for higher scrutiny of development proposals in a provincial park,” Clowater noted.

The public can submit comments on or before November 21 to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mailed to Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.

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Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.